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“Your Site Sucks, Hire Me”

Today I received an email which I've summarized for you in five words: Your Site Sucks, Hire Me. Perhaps I am feeling particularly {bored, mean-spirited, prick-like, combative} (take your pick) today, but I responded, and not very nicely. Here for you is the entire email with any URLs or names removed and replaced with generics or "xxxxxx."

Hi,

Here's the short response: "screw off."

Here's the longer response, inline:

On 1/21/04 8:51 AM, "Some Jackass" <sj@xxxxxxxxxx.com> wrote:
> Dear FSS,
> I contact you with a great urgency. I came to your site through the
> apple.com site and imagine most of your traffic on the site goes the same
> route. The urgency I am talking about is regarding the integrity with
> which your website is built and how it does not stand up.

Your only great urgency seems to be that you're unemployed and looking for work in a hurry. How old are you? In what manual did you read "insult your potential customers so that they pay you?"

> I am a Graphic Designer specializing in Brand Marketing, Web Development,
> and Advertising. Why is this important to you? Because your website is in
> desperate need of my expertise. The products that you offer through your
> company are wonderful solutions to Apple users and your website should
> offer an equally wonderful solution.

You are in desperate need of some common sense. I'll give you some credit in that you're not just sending form mail - but you may as well have been what with the insults, especially as baseless as they are.

If your site didn't say you used a G4, I'd wonder if you were on a PC. You say "Apple" very stiffly and you're clearly not using one of the majority browsers available for the Mac (Safari, Camino, Firebird, etc.).

> You might be switching back and forth from this email to your site and
> saying to yourself, "There's nothing wrong with it, who does this guy
> think he is?!?".

Nope. You have incredibly bad timing, in fact. More to come on this soon...

> At the risk of cutting off my nose, allow me to point out
> just a few flaws in the rendering of the code makes up the site...

Guess what? That's what they are: flaws in the rendering.

What do you know of our market? What browsers do you think visit our site? The one you're using comprises less than 2% of our visitors and before our redesign, comprised less than 4%.

We know a lot more about our market than you do, xxxxx, and our market doesn't use a browser that has so many "flaws in the rendering."

Your nose has left the building.

> 1. Your company logo does not appear on any page. It is in the code to
> display it, and maybe it appears on certain types of computers with
> certain types on browsers, but not on all platforms.

I'm curious where you've found this company logo in our code. The only place in which anything that could be construed as "our logo" appears is in the CSS file. It displays properly, and if you can't see a few PNGs (which were standardized, what, six years ago?), then that lends further credence to the idea that you're using a PC (which is _really_ not our target market).

> 2. Your columns that contain the content of your site are not inline. The
> right hand column that is broken into various amounts of blocks of content
> don't appear until midway down the page.

Use a browser that doesn't suck. The site appears properly in:
1. Safari
2. OmniWeb
3. Camino
4. Mozilla Firebird

In other words, using both the KHTML and the Mozilla engines (the only other ones I really know of are iCab and IE - both of which suck), our site renders fine.

I invite you to read this if you're so inclined (https://nslog.com/2003/11/11/redesign_fss/).

> 3. Your "quick links" menu is not inline with the background graphic (grey
> oval shape) that it is supposed to be contained in.

Yes it is. Use a browser that doesn't suck.

> I am not going to continue to point out the remainder of the issues that
> leave your company website in a disarray. Instead I urge you to contact me
> as soon as possible so that the integrity of your site can be reinstated.

Instead, I invite you to "screw off." It's fun to say that. Try it, you'll like it.

> It is extremely important that the visitors to your website get the
> information they seek easily and I can help you see to that.
> I hope to hear from you or a member of your team shortly to speak about
> how I can help you.

Instead, let us tell you how we can help you.

1. Your email is rude, condescending, and belittling. In order to obtain clients, I might recommend you not insult the heck out of them, especially when you're clearly using crappy technology (your choice of browsers).

2. Your site doesn't validate. In fact, it doesn't even have a DOCTYPE declaration, and even when any of the available ones are used, it fails with no less than about 19 errors. Good job! You'll note that _every_ page on our site validates. I'm smart enough to know that a page can validate and still be ugly, but I'm also smart enough to know that a crappy browser makes for a crappy browser, too. I recently wrote about coding to standards (https://nslog.com/2004/01/19/standards/).

3. Your site makes horrible use of screen space. Visitors are forced to scroll through content that'd fit perfectly well within even "small" browser windows by today's standards.

4. Your site's copyright is out of date.

5. You use mangled JavaScript where CSS would suffice.

6. The + buttons in your portfolio are broken in some browsers (I forgive you) but require an explanation as to their use (I don't forgive you).

7. The top/navigational "buttons" on your site move around as you click, making for a horrible presentation. A good UI guideline is that things should be where someone last left them and _not_ move around (seemingly) randomly. UI shouldn't force people to think or search, simply to recall.

8. You need to stop using Dreamweaver, kid.

Your email (sans your name) and my reply have been posted to my blog. Your name goes on my "never do business with this person" list (a whopping list of four) and you're free to reply, though you're also free to realize I won't be reading anything you have to say.

Some background information: FSS was redesigned very much in the public eye (here on this blog, anyway) and around 4% of our visitors use browsers whose name begins with "i" (Cab, nternet Explorer). The author of the email has some valid points, but raises none which have not been weighed and measured already. No company logo? Nope - because we really don't like the one we have. We're branding ourselves with the whole idea of "orange" and whatnot.

In short, my terse (that's putting it nicely) response was provoked by two things:

  1. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. People whose sites don't even contain a DOCTYPE need to invest in plexiglass siding.
  2. You don't solicit business by saying "you suck, hire me." You especially don't solicit business that way when you're wrong.

I'm willing to accept that people don't like or can't use the site. Again, that's all been weighed and measured. Our sales are up, comments about the site (this email included) have been overhwelmingly positive, and we live in the 21st century.

OK, back to normalcy.

8 Responses to "“Your Site Sucks, Hire Me”"

  1. Bitch slap that guy! Very entertaining, Erik. He truly tangled with the wrong geek.

    For extra credit, hack his site and deface it with the words, "can you SMELL THE CODE I'm cooking!"

    P.S. Sorry I didn't post my REAL e-mail addy, but I get enuff spam.

  2. Sounds almost like automated spam to me, but very smart automated spam. The front and end sound like it's boilerplate anyway.

  3. I have a question that's only slightly off topic, but this seemed the perfect place to ask it:

    Does anyone else have problems with Safari 1.1.1 (Panther) and the default file name provided when you try to PDF "print" / save a web page?

    I'll use the "default" title (shown at the top of the browser window) listed above: "NSLog() - Your Site Sucks, Hire Me" as my example. What happens if I try to PDF print the page?

    If there is a semicolon in the "default" title, the default provided by Safari for "Save as:" is "NSLog()" -- that's all!!

    If there is no semicolon in the "default" title, the default for "Save as:" is "NSLog()- Your Site Sucks, Hire Me".

    I haven't seen it reported anywhere else and was curious if

    a) I was the only one seeing this "bug" and

    b) How is NSLog(); planning to deal with it (ex. remove the ";" from your site's name)

    Not a major bug, but one that does get frustrating after awhile!

  4. Nice reading.... Makes for a good laugh, keep up the good work on a nice site.

    Simplicity is beatuy as demonstrated here. Just wanted to let you know that this was one of the sites that inspired me while creating mine.

  5. Contrary to my self-preservation instinct I am going to have to agree with the guy - wait before you fire up MovableType to flame me - hear me out. I don't agree with the guy completely or how he went about to 'inform' you of your sites so called 'faults'.

    You have to look at it this way, Freshly Squeezed Software and its site is suppose to represent your company. I know that the majority of visitors are Mac users. But what if a company wants to port one of their Windows app to the Mac and they come across your site (cause they know you make great Mac apps) - their first impression of your company would not be a good one. What if someone wants to write a story about your company? What if someone want to buy or invest in your company?

    Don't get me wrong I am all for standards and I am a Mac Addict. But unfortunately Windows and IE dominate the Internet. You can still make a site that uses standards and validates but supports 99.9% of all browsers. Just look at sites like Wired or INC.

    I hope you understand my views. I do agree that the way the guy went about contacting you was all wrong. Please don't kill me 🙁

  6. My main beef with the guy was that he was throwing stones while living in a glass house.

    Coding to IE means that a lot of your CSS goes out the window. All of your PNGs go out the window. Etc. It's a sacrifice we're unwilling to make, all to cater to a market that is decidedly not ours.

    Someone wants to write a story on us, we'll let them know where we stand. Someone wants to port one of their Windows apps to the Mac… good for them? Our consultant/freelance side of things is decidedly small for a reason and a purpose.

    I understand what you're saying, but it's nothing we didn't think about already and decide to ignore. Our site could not be done as it is and "work" on IE. Our site is simple, clean, and conforms to standards - standards IE doesn't support.

  7. if there is a problem with your site and he can fix it then shut up and hire him - except you arent a large enough company to afford him. tryer.

  8. We're large enough to hire people. The guy's own site sucked. You shut up.


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